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DID YOU READ

Ten funny things about Batman

Adam West as Batman

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These days, Batman is dead serious in Christopher Nolan’s gritty trilogy about Gotham City’s Dark Knight. Why so serious? Because for a long time, Batman was anything but. There were a lot of wacky comic book adventures, the highly campy Adam West TV series from the 1960s, and that Joel Schumacher thing with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze that most of us try to forget. Of course, now that we have the new Academy-Award-winning Batman saga, we can much more easily relax and enjoy the funny side of the Caped Crusader without fearing that it will ruin any chance of getting him taken seriously. Batman, these days, is the epitome of cool, the unstoppable guy, the guy who will always win if he has time to prepare. That makes him fun. So let’s take a look at 10 funny things about Batman, be it classic clips or the things the internet can do to whatever it loves.


1. The Bomb

We have to start with a focus on the Adam West “Batman” from the 1960s. A ridiculously colorful psychedelic bit of wackiness, it featured flashing title cards for punching sound effects, Bat as a prefix for anything from a computer to shark repellant, and a lot of goofball fun with folks like Cesar Romero as the Joker, Burgess Meredith as the Penguin and Frank Gorshin as the Riddler. However, the calm rock in the midst of all this was West as the unflappable straight man dressed in the silliest of costumes. As we see here, the comedy was played to the hilt, as Batman finds out that some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb.


2. UALEUALEUALEUALE

What? Exactly. If you’ve listened to “Macarron Chacarron” by El Chombo, you’ll know that’s about as close as you can come to putting into writing the weird-ass chorus that sounds either like a guy trying to speak through a mask or the kind of thing that little kids imagine dumb guys blurt at all times. However, when you combine that with the dopey-looking head of Adam West’s Batman doing a weird spastic pseudo-dance, you get the most random bit of unsettlingly consistent hilarity the internet can conjure. It’s hard to say WHY this is funny, and after a minute, you may not think it’s funny anymore, but give it another 30 seconds or so after that point, and it will get hysterical all over again. Let it go for the full 9 minutes, and you’ll be certifiable.


3. Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Recently, after years of the highly-acclaimed “Batman: The Animated Series” which paved the way for dramatic animation of all kinds, Warner Bros.’ animation wing decided to hearken back to the more fun and kid-friendly days so exemplified by West’s series, but with a modern spin. Thus, this show ran for three seasons, featuring Diedrich Bader as the voice of Batman, who teams with a revolving door of wild superheroes like Plastic Man, Booster Gold, the fourth-wall-breaking Bat-Mite and the show-stealing boisterousness of Aquaman. What other superhero show would figure out a way to include Roastmaster General Jeffrey Ross? Check out this collection of clips from the show’s first season.


4. That Voice

Even in Nolan’s ultra-serious Batman films, there are some things to laugh at – and the most mocked aspect was Christian Bale’s growly Bat-voice. It was subtle enough in “Batman Begins,” but in “The Dark Knight,” he had to give monologues in it, and it just started sounding sort of ridiculous. And that’s what this spoof video is taking great delight in teasing him about, illustrating Batman’s journey towards finding that right voice.


5. The Riddle That’s Too Hard

And in another win from the College Humor crowd, a second spoof video takes the piss out of the mental duel that happens between the enigmatic quizmaster The Riddler and the hyperintelligent Dark Knight Detective, most notably in beloved video games like “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and “Arkham City.” What would happen if there was one time the master of riddles managed to confound the hero?

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.